Although social media is a valuable tool for many small businesses and brands, not every company finds it easy to integrate into marketing strategies.

Pauley Creative – a digital marketing agency for the construction industry – discovered mixed findings when it looked at how the top 15 construction companies in the UK are using Twitter and other social media platforms.

Most companies that benefit from social media have a tangible product to sell. Construction companies are faced with a challenge as their service is pretty intangible. Despite that, 13 out of the 15 top construction companies have starting using Twitter – only 7 of the top 15 had a Twitter account in 2010.

Having the account is only half of the challenge. Of the 13 companies on Twitter, only nine are actually using the microblogging site. The study found that four have registered to secure a name, but aren’t tweeting.

Four of the companies are very active on the social network and are sending @replies, retweeting followers, and engaging in two-way conversations.

It’s interesting to note that while 87 percent of the top 15 construction companies are on Twitter, all of the companies are on Facebook. But similar to the Twitter usage, only 20 percent are posting updates.

Of the top 15, only 33 percent have links to social profiles on their websites – this is up from 13 percent in 2010. Although the number is growing, it’s still a worrisome metric that indicates many companies are joining social networks just to secure a name on the platform. This can have a negative affect by giving people the impression that you just don’t “get” social media.

While this study focused on construction companies in the UK, it’s fair to assume that many companies within the U.S. face similar struggles. It’s important to go where your customers are, but there’s a big difference between being present and being active. Make sure that you take the time to understand how different social networks can help your marketing efforts before joining.

[Via: AllTwitter, Image credit: Kate Ter Haar]